I have been falsely accused today for the first time in my life, outside of being an older sister. I have been substitute teaching at LaVergne High School (I graduated from there in 2001) in the Special Education department since early January. Today I am at the post office, finally mailing all the crap (see previous post) I got together for my visa. I get a phone call that a teacher at LHS has reported me to Holland, my employer, for being (and I quote) "loud, mean, and making a student cry."
What the hell?
Can I just say, What. The. Hell.
First of all, who in their late 30s to early 40s (all ages of women I work with in this department) knows that a substitute has made a child cry and doesn't go to that person and tell them about it. The woman who reported me said that it had happened on "several" occassions. Who, please tell me, who allows a teacher to continue to make a child cry and NEVER ADDRESSES THE ISSUE? It's freaking child abuse! It's like they're waiting to gather evidence against me.
Okay, now that we've established the idiocy of the procedures taken (i.e. calling Holland and pulling me out of the school instead of just telling me something wasn't working or I was doing something wrong, which is also known as caring for the children 100%), let's go back to the fact that I have never EVER been mean to a student or made them cry. EVER. I'm not stupid. I might not be trained to work with kids in special ed. but I understand that you don't yell at them and you're never mean to them. Perhaps I get frustrated, but then I just repeat my instructions until the kid gets it right. Of course, there are levels of mental ability, as there are in any classroom. A few nonverbals. Because I'm not mentally challenged myself, I do not yell or get angry with kids who cannot understand me. There are a good number who DO understand me and have the ability to follow directions if they so choose. Sometimes they don't choose. And I have to let that go because they're, well, them. I have gotten to know these kids' personalities and I feel that the past month has been incredibly rewarding. I have learned more about teaching at this school (no thanks to my "colleagues" who treat me like I'm worthless because I'm simply a sub) than I ever have in years of actually being in school or even my few experiences teaching. I was ignoring the silly crap, the stupid gossip stuff and bitchy behavior because heck, we're all women, we're all either menstruating or menopausing or whatever and there's bound to be bad moods and stuff. And we're easily stressed. We do have kids that hit and bite and punch and scream really loud. Who's not stressed out? But the idea that someone would pick me out and decide that I'm not doing a good enough job and then MAKE STUFF UP and then call Holland about it to make me look bad- this just makes me angry. I am angry. And again, I say what the hell?
I was not given a chance to defend myself, to clear up any misunderstanding, to confront the person who accused me of irresponsible and inappropriate behavior. I was simply told I would not be needed at this school tomorrow and throughout the evening received call after automated call cancelling all the jobs there I had lined up until the end of February.
I just think that it's ridiculous to treat people like this. I'm the second sub IN A WEEK who has been run off. And ours were not the first complaints (so said some supervisor from some county something). So, I just think that these teachers deserve to be left alone with NO SUBS to help them with all these kids. They want to talk about how they love the kids, but when someone new comes in it turns into a game of favorites and keeping secrets and not giving information about the children or how to take care of them or how they respond best. It becomes about making sure everyone knows that this child likes you the best, that you know the most about this child, that you are an expert in taking care of this child. Well, fine, you be an expert by your freaking self.
I'm done with that. I refuse to be in a hostile environment. They are rude and unwelcoming toward the people who willingly take a PAY CUT in order to sub there and offer what little help we can. Oh, and they're LIARS. Dang.
I was telling my parents today that now I know how those innocent people on Law & Order feel when they get called in for something they seriously did not do. I didn't do anything CLOSE to what I'm being accused of. I have wracked my brain ALL afternoon for anything, any tiny little thing that could even have been misconstrued as mean or making someone cry. I would never hurt anyone on purpose, much less a child, much much less a child in a special education class!
Like I said,
What the hell?
And grow up. It's not middle school. You don't get points with anybody anymore. Be kind to people who are trying to help you. BE KIND.